La Grande Arche de la Défense (French: [la ɡʁɑ̃d aʁʃ də la defɑ̃s]; "The Great Arch of the Defense"), also called La Grande Arche de la Fraternité (French: [fʁatɛʁnite]; "Fraternity"), is a monument and building in the business district of La Défense and in the commune of Puteaux, to the west of Paris, France. It is usually known as the Arche de la Défense or simply as La Grande Arche. A 110-metre-high (360 ft) cube, La Grande Arche is part of the perspective from the Louvre to Arc de Triomphe. The distance from La Grande Arche to Arc de Triomphe is 4 km (2 1⁄2 miles).
|Grande Arche de la Défense|
La Grande Arche de la Défense
|Location||La Défense, Île-de-France, France|
|Height||110 m (360 ft)|
|Design and construction|
|Architect||Johan Otto von Spreckelsen|
Design and construction
A great national design competition was launched in 1982 as the initiative of French president François Mitterrand. Danish architect Johan Otto von Spreckelsen (1929–1987) and Danish engineer Erik Reitzel (1941-2012) designed the winning entry to be a late-20th-century version of the Arc de Triomphe: a monument to humanity and humanitarian ideals rather than military victories. The construction of the monument began in 1985. Spreckelsen resigned in July 1986 and ratified the transfer of all his architectural responsibilities to his associate, French architect Paul Andreu. Reitzel continued his work until the monument was completed in 1989.
The Arche is in the approximate shape of a cube with a width, height and depth of 110 m (360 ft); it has been suggested that the structure looks like a hypercube (a tesseract) projected onto the three-dimensional world. It has a prestressed concrete frame covered with glass and Carrara marble from Italy and was built by the French civil engineering company Bouygues.
La Grande Arche was inaugurated in July 1989, with grand military parades that marked the bicentennial of the French Revolution. It completed the line of monuments that forms the Axe historique running through Paris. The Arche is turned at an angle of 6.33° about the vertical axis. The most important reason for this turn was technical: with a métro station, an RER station, and a motorway all situated directly underneath the Arche, the angle was the only way to accommodate the structure's giant foundations. In addition, from an architectural point of view, the turn emphasizes the depth of the monument and is similar to the turn of the Louvre at the other end of the Axe historique.
The two sides of the Arche house government offices. The roof section was closed in 2010 following an accident without injury and opened again to the public in 2017 after seven years of renovation works. It features panoramic views of Paris and includes a restaurant and an exhibition area dedicated to photojournalism.
Organizations headquartered in the Grande Arche include the Bureau d'Enquêtes sur les Événements de Mer (BEAmer), the French marine accident investigation agency, in the southern portion.
- "Grande Arche Paris facts". Paris Digest. 2018. Retrieved 2018-09-10.
- Du Sautoy, Marcus. "A 4 Dimensional Cube in Paris". The Number Mysteries. Retrieved 17 June 2012.
- Lemonde.fr, Le Monde (11 August 2010)
- "Reopening of the Grande Arche rooftop in Paris".
- "Contact us." Bureau d'Enquêtes sur les Événements de Mer. Retrieved on June 22, 2017. "Bureau d’enquêtes sur les événements de mer (BEAmer) Arche Sud 92055 LA DEFENSE CEDEX FRANCE" - Note the pedestrian access map
- François Chaslin et Virginie Picon-Lefebvre, La Grande Arche de La Défense Electa-Moniteur, 1989
- Erik Reitzel Le Cube ouvert. Structures and foundations International conference on tall buildings. Singapore, 1984. ISBN 9971840421
- Erik Reitzel Les forces dont resultent quelques monuments Parisiens de la Fin du XXe siècle Le pouvoir et la ville à l'époque moderne et contemporaine, Sorbonne 2001. ISBN 2747526100